DIY: Organizing Open Shelving in a Bathroom

Our ensuite bathroom isn't overly large, but it suits our needs just fine (you'll see the ensuite in our home tour which will be posted shortly). We would have loved to have a double vanity, but unfortunately the builder didn't include that as an option. So, with a single vanity came double doors and a bank of drawers, which we added as an upgrade. Overall, we aren't lacking storage in this bathroom, but the builder did include open shelving behind the door and beside the shower. When we first moved in, I was puzzled on how to make open shelving functional and beautiful at the same time.

So, this is what I came up with...

I decided that a good balance of decorative accessories and storage baskets would be best to make the open shelving useful, but still appealing.  The storage baskets hold toilet paper, bath products, and candles and aromatherapy products.

I also added a few candles - both votive holders and a chunky pillar candle (the river rocks we bought for the vases we made for the table centrepieces for our wedding)

I also wanted a personal touch - and nothing is more personal than a picture of my husband and I on our wedding day. (And believe it or not, I admire this picture everytime I'm in the bathroom). Sometimes adding a framed photograph to an unexpected place like a bathroom really makes the room more personal. And, really, the bathroom is the most personal room in the home. 

We do have a linen closet in the upper hallway, but the open shelving in our ensuite bathroom leaves plenty of room for extra towels and facecloths. Plus, it's great to have these close at hand. I like the idea of rolling the bath towels and folding the facecloths and hand towels. 

There is still lots to do in this ensuite bathroom. Actually, we've barely done anything to this room, other than hanging some art and organizing the bathroom products. Ok, that's not entirely true - we also ripped out the laminate countertop, builder-grade sink and faucet, and replaced them with a granite countertop, an undermount sink, and a widespread faucet. Oh, and upgraded the light fixture. But, we are planning on painting over the builder-beige walls, maybe adding a wall treatment, and I would love to transform these plain white MDF shelves to thicker dark-stained shelves (I hate that you can see the brackets for each shelf). But, for the time being, this works for us.

Do any of you have open shelving in your home? Or have you included a personal touch in your bathrooms?


  1. OMG...we are doing this very thing in our hall bath that we are remodeling. We had to build a wall to install the new tub (we had a claw-foot tub)so we decided on an open closet behind the door. I bought the same baskets to put on the shelves. The hubby and I were discussing yesterday how to install the shelves...now I know by looking at your design. Thank you for this post! Linda

    1. Hi Linda!

      Glad that my post has helped with your bathroom update. I'm happy that you came across this post, and I hope that you'll tune into my blog for future projects that I'll be working on. Good luck on your bathroom remodel!



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